Keeping healthy mentally

I am sure many of us will be aware of how important it is to continue to use our brains as we age. Of course, it’s not only keeping the brain active that is important, it’s important to incorporate the full package so that emotionally, physically and mentally we stay well.

The following ideas are worth considering:

  • Keep the brain active by reading, doing crosswords, solving puzzles or doing challenging games, all made easier with many online sites to help stimulate and exercise our minds;
  • Continue to participate in regular physical exercise, as that plays an important role in regulating blood circulation through the brain and also can contribute to reducing the risk of disease. The brain also secretes feel good hormones called endorphins after physical activity; which may positively alter your mood;
  • It will come as no surprise that nutrition plays a huge role in our thinking abilities. It is especially important that our diets include omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in oily fish, nuts and seeds. Antioxidants that can be found in most fruits and vegetables are another essential part of the brain-diet. Overall, a well-balanced diet can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases; help boost our memory and improve concentration;
  • Engaging in social activities keeps the brain engaged and active. This can reduce stress whilst promoting emotional health. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with friends or family that you trust is especially good for your overall wellbeing;
  • The brain will need time to recover and it can only do that through sleep. While adults generally need less sleep as they age, a good night’s sleep will help the brain regenerate ready for next day challenges;
  • Prolonged periods of concentrated thinking involving continuous mental activity can contribute to increased stress, so it’s important to remember to slow down and relax too, when you can.

Finally, excessive stress is counter-productive.  It is important to deal with stress, believe in yourself, have realistic goals and ask for help if you need it.


4 Oct, 2013

6 thoughts on “Keeping healthy mentally

  1. Yes it does seem to be even more difficult as you get older which I hadn’t realized until recently!

    I have come to realize that it’s even more important for me under my circumstances. My lifestyle hasn’t been the healthiest mentally or physically, which I need to work on while I can still do things to change it.

    I’m hoping that I will be able to avoid the things like dementia and Parkinson’s that run in my family!

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes life has a way of catching up with us when we least expect it! It’s up to us individually to take responsibility for ourselves while we’re still young enough to avoid the kind of pitfalls you mention in your response.

      Although there are some conditions that tend to run in families, I have always believed that with a better lifestyle there will probably be some conditions we can avoid with a better lifestyle.

      I have always gone with the philosophy that prevention is better than cure. Of course in certain circumstances, cure may not be an option, but it’s still certainly worth working on a better lifestyle regardless. That way we’re more likely to be able to avoid certain problems in later life.

  2. Very good points! I try to read a lot when I have the chance. I try to educate myself continuously.

    My diet lacks a little and of course I lead a stressful life which I’m getting a hold of. I used to do crossword puzzles a lot but don’t have much time to do them anymore. I did start one the other day though.

    I guess the stress and diet are my two downfalls when it comes to my brain.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I think we all go through phases, but you’re aware know where you should and need to make the changes and that’s half the battle. It’s not always easy to see or know. Many people struggle with the basics.

      I hope it won’t be too long before things turn around for you. I’m here for you.

  3. I agree with your holistic suggestions to keep us healthy and active.

    It is so easy to stagnate, especially when we retire from work but we do need to be positive about our mental health and general well being as you say.

    1. I think you’re middle paragraph is key. It would be easy to sit around and stagnate into retirement, but keeping active, mentally and physically and staying focused helps us stay well.

      Our health isn’t something we should and can take for granted. In the blink of an eyelid it’s all too easy for our health to change.

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